Do I need a Winch for Cape York

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 10:59
ThreadID: 22506 Views:5225 Replies:11 FollowUps:3
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Whacko, the 1st of June is getting closer and then starts our 2 month trip to Cape York and back, returning to Sydney via Longreach, and Carnarvon NP.
We're towing our Kimberley Kamper behind our #80 and I'm at sixes and sevens whether I should fit a winch - some articles I've read make the creek exits look "interesting", other articles not so.
Before our 2003 CSR trip the over-riding advice was to not take a trailer up the CSR but, we did, and we had no problems (see #7590).
With that in mind I'd appreciate recommendations from anyone who has taken a CT to CY.
I realise that this year may be different from previous years, and I'm certainly well aware of the difference between getting stuck on a sandhill and stuck in a river!
DB
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Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 11:17

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 11:17
Gday DB,we went up Cape York two years ago,we didnt have a winch and didnt get stuck anywhere(Telegraph Track) with no trailer.At canibal creek it took two or three goes to get out(good crossing that) but we made it.Talking to people up at Loyalty Beach everyone that went through Canibal Creek with a trailer in their group had to winch out.
If your going on your own and can afford it,its really cheap insurance.
AnswerID: 108914

Reply By: Footloose - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 11:20

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 11:20
Depends on where you are going on the Cape and how much assistance you'll travel with. The Cape can be a little different depending upon conditions. Even though you may not encounter much, set the rig up for lots of water.
As for the CSR I know of two well set up rigs that found it no worries...but both said that if it had been wet it could of been an entirely different story. The Cape is exactly the same story. I've know stock road cars to get there and back, and fully equipped expeditions to be stopped in their tracks.
I rekkon in June, unless something dramatic weather wise happens there, your biggest threat will be from Kamakazee drivers trying to get places at a zillion miles an hour and thinking that there's nobody else around the bend.
AnswerID: 108915

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 12:54

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 12:54
Wwe did the Cape in 99 with a trailer, no winch on my vehicle, but 2 diff locks.

My mate had awinch on his Disco and a rear diff lock. 99 was very wet through March and we crossed the Wenlock on a barge, the ford was 4m deep. Throughout our trip we encountered lots and lots of mud. We only managed about 10km of the Telegraph track north of Fruitbat Falls before being froced to turn around. My snorkel just wasn't long enough.

During the course of the trip I was winched backwards out of a bog. My mate then winched himself through it before snatching me through. Two snatch straps end to end and a pretty solid hit, that was fun. On another occasion I snatched him out of a mess. We also recovered 1 other vehicle who had fallen into a hole when the road collapsed under him. We also saw a number of other recoveries being performed by helpful travellers.

A winch would certainly increase your self sufficiency but there are plenty of people up there, just like most of us, all to willing to help out a fellow traveller.

With careful driving and a cautious approach you could easily get to the tip and back without a winch. Apart from the first bog I mentioned above we could have got through every obstacle without the winch. We could probalby have got out of the first one without the winch but would have had to make a 200km detour to get beyond it. The winch gives peace of mind and may be worthwhile just for that reason.

Personally I'd say a winch falls into the nice to have category. Particularly if you have another vehicle with you.

Wish I could come.
Duncs

AnswerID: 108922

Reply By: niikki - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 13:40

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 13:40
Hi All,
I'd just like to say that i've been up the cape numerous times with and without a camper/trailer, You can never predict what could happen up there in the remote wilderness, On some trips i have had times when i have had to use my winch in a few places here and there and once on the OTL and other trips theres been no need to use the winch, i always go prepared for anything when travelling to the cape and other remote areas....
Hence i would suggest getting a winch, IT'S BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY.
I say and besides a winch can only add value to your vehicle...
Have a safe one ....
peace
niikki
AnswerID: 108928

Reply By: Member - DickyBeach - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 17:02

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 17:02
Thank you Nick, Footloose, Duncs & Niiki for your speedy responses (this is an amazing site), I'll go and get myself a winch.
DB
AnswerID: 108949

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 17:19

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 17:19
No you shouldnt need a winch with the correct tyre pressures and good driving you should be fine.
I have done the cape a 15 times or more now and dont own one. Peter has done the cape 100 times or even more and he dosnt own one.
But during the wet he has wished he owned one.

All the best
Eric
AnswerID: 108952

Follow Up By: niikki - Sunday, May 01, 2005 at 10:20

Sunday, May 01, 2005 at 10:20
Hi All,
Eric Do you have a winch on your vehicle or any vehicle that travels with your group ? And yes maybe you dont need a winch if you do the same roads and tracks every time , but what if you go off the beaten track and your alone ? what if you need a winch and haven't got one what then?
Like i said "its best to be safe than sorry".
I think any vehicle travelling to remote areas should be fitted with a winch of some kind.
peace niikki
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FollowupID: 365756

Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 12:01

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 12:01
No I dont have one and no I never end up traveling alone.
And no we dont travell the same tracks every time.
If I were to travel in very remote areas alone I would get one.

All the best
Eric

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FollowupID: 365901

Reply By: nick riviera - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 17:24

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 17:24
you dont need a winch to drive it!
AnswerID: 108954

Reply By: Groove - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 19:25

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 19:25
I did the cape a few years ago and because I was travelling alone, 1 vehicle, I decided to be as self sufficient as possible.

Dont remeber where exaxtly but came across a gut really stuck in some mud, and he had been that way for a couple of hours. Snatched him out and off he flew. No problem glad to help.

A few hours later came across the same guy stuck in some mud, Snatched him out and off he flew. No problem glad to help.

I guess its well and good to say others will help you but had I had to snatch this guy out a third time I would have started to get a little weary.

I didnt get stuck in the same locations but did need to winch myself out twice elswhere. It was an unusually muddy Cape I was told later.

Bottom line is I think a Tirfor type winch is a small price to pay to be self suficient.
AnswerID: 108972

Reply By: AndrewX - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 21:15

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 21:15
You'll need a winch if you get stuck and there's noone to help you. Fair chance you'll get stuck at some time if you're towing up there. Consider taking a tent after Cairns as off road campers aren't really made for that sort of travel - they just add too much weight in an already difficult environment. You were environmentally irresponsible to take a trailer on the CSR against the over-riding (you even admit it!!!!) advice you were given.
AnswerID: 108997

Follow Up By: Member - DickyBeach - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 22:10

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 22:10
Thanks Andrew,
It appears you had not read my post (7590) re towing on the CSR for if you had you would have seen that my mode of travel over the dunes caused zero environmental damage. Low tyre pressures and s-l-o-w travel over the dunes caused zero damage.
It is for such kind of travel as to the top that sturdily constructed CTs like the KK are made.
Check out Ron Moon's book on Cape York and you'll see that what he towed up to the top is similar to the KK.
DB.
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FollowupID: 365724

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 12:03

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 12:03
DB after you left plomber the weather was good for a couple of days and then did it rain the bottom end was flooded out again.
75mm in 24 hours.

All the best
Eric
AnswerID: 109209

Reply By: Member - Ross P (NSW) - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 12:33

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 12:33
Sept 04 did the Old Telegraph Track and others on the way up, including Frenchmans Track - no trailer. Carried a hand winch all the way because we were travelling alone - and its still hasn't been used in anger.

Chickened out on Gunshot - late in the season and pretty cut up. Would have needed a winch to get out (Travelling north).

No problem getting out of Canibal, but scraped the side step going in - should have taken the line SWMBO told me to!!!
AnswerID: 109211

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